Arborvitae grows moderately fast in full sun or light shade and tolerates drought well once established. Sandy or loam soil is best, clay soil is only suited on sloping ground where water runs off the site and drainage is good. Arborvitae tolerates pruning well. Is well-suited for use as a barrier, background, or specimen planting in a large landscape where it is properly located so pruning is not needed. Pruned plants look quite odd where one side of the plant is missing because the plant was located too close to a walk or street. This is a tough plant that grows about anywhere soil drains well.

Branches are loose and open weighing down heavily in ice and snow. Some people tie plants up in winter to prevent stems from breaking; this appears to work. Training trees to one trunk also helps prevent ice damage. plants often grow fine in zone 5 but winter burn every few years. The dead spot that results in the canopy quickly returns to green in the next year or two.